Protect against virus
People between 50 and 64 will be invited to get a free flu vaccine from the beginning of December and into the New Year as part of this year’s expanded flu vaccination programme.
GPs and pharmacies will be arranging appointments to coincide with delivery of new vaccine stock. People are asked to be patient as they make plans for this and wait to be contacted. They are reminded that vaccinations will continue throughout the winter season.
Those in an at-risk group remain a priority for vaccination and should contact their GP or pharmacy as soon as possible for the free flu vaccine.
The jab is to reduce the risk of people catching flu and coronavirus at the same time, which studies have shown can have serious health consequences – particularly for the elderly and vulnerable.
Uptake of flu jabs has been good in all vulnerable groups in Bucks, except for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and have not had your flu jab yet, people are advised to contact your GP practice to protect your baby as well as yourself.
Caroline Capell, Director of Urgent and Emergency Care for Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership, said: ‘We are really pleased to be able to offer free flu vaccinations to people between the ages of 50 and 64 this year and we are urging anyone who is eligible to get a jab.
‘It can make a huge difference to your health this winter, as well as the health of your family and loved ones. Your GP practice should be in touch over the coming weeks to arrange a vaccination appointment – we appreciate your patience and co-operation over these challenging months.
‘We should also remember that by having your flu jab you will be helping to keep people from being admitted to hospital, and supporting your NHS during this extremely challenging time.’
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘For most people the flu is a very nasty illness, but for the elderly or vulnerable, it can be life-threatening.
‘This year, it is more important than ever that we do everything possible to keep each other safe and well, both from the flu and from the coronavirus. So, if you are eligible to get your free flu jab, please do so to protect both yourself and your loved ones. This winter, more than ever, it could really save lives.’
See a ‘Ready for Winter’ information page, along with guidance on travel and how to be a good neighbour – www.yourcommunityyourcare.org.uk/ready-for-winter.